People often get butterflies and moths confused, and it’s easy to see why! They have a lot of similarities, but there are some ways to tell them apart. Moths are primarily nocturnal (active at night), while butterflies are primarily diurnal (active during the day). In addition, most moths have bigger, fuzzier bodies than butterflies. They also have very different antennae. Click here to watch Marjorie explain the differences between them. Want to learn more about moths? Read on!
P.S. Feeling a little overwhelmed while navigating learning at home? Nature is a powerful tool in our social and emotional wellbeing. Take some time outside each day—or bring nature indoors—to practice mindfulness and experience wonder, awe, creativity, connection, and feelings of joy and calm. Click here for more teaching tips.
Atlas moths up close!
Did you know that atlas moths are one of the largest moths in the world? They can have wingspans of up to 12 inches! Marjorie recently took the time to show us an atlas moth up close. Click here to watch the video and get a closer look at this incredible moth.
Guiding Question: What give butterfly and moth wings their color? What do you notice about the atlas moth? Do its colors remind you of anything?
Comets and moons!
For a short period, we were lucky to have comet moths in addition to African moon moths in the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven. Although both moths look very similar in appearance, you can see the difference in their size and color in this photo. If you’ve ever wondered what it looks like when a moth emerges from its cocoon, click here to see an amazing time-lapse video shot by bug expert Allen.
Guiding Question: Why do you think that moon moths and comet moths have this special coloring? How might it help them? What did you notice in the cocoon video?
Magnificent Illinois moths
We’ve been looking at moths from around the world, but there are some beautiful moths that you can see in Illinois. These moths are actually related to the tropical moths we’ve been talking about! The luna moth and the cecropia moth can both be found in Illinois, and look a lot like the African moon moth and the atlas moth. Click here to see them all.
Guiding Question: What do you notice about the tropical moths? What do you notice about the Illinois moths? How are they alike? How are they different?
Make your own moth
Inspired by the amazing moths we’ve seen today? Print out and color these amazing coloring sheets! Click here to download the atlas moth coloring page or click here to download the comet moth craft.
Guiding Question: What is your favorite lizard? What do you like about it? Where would you have to go to find one?
Behind the scenes!
Bug expert Allen got to hang out with an atlas moth in the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven last week. Click here to check out some fun behind-the-scenes shots on our Instagram.
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